60 Over 60
Not Your Same Old List

HelpAge USA is delighted to honor 60 Americans over 60 who are making significant contributions to society at the local, national or international level. We salute this diverse group of adults in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s who are making a difference and inspiring others. They are sharing their gifts with the world, and we are proud to honor them.

“I am grateful for this recognition — not so much for myself, but for the recognition that folks over sixty still have many gifts to share with the world.”

 — Reverend Violet Little

2022 HelpAge USA 60 Over 60 Honorees

Honorees in their 60s

Ashton Applewhite – New York

A writer and activist against ageism, she is catalyzing a movement to make discrimination on the basis of age as unacceptable as any other kind.

Howard Buffett – Illinois

Through his charitable foundation, he works to mitigate conflict and other barriers to global food security and economic prosperity.

Dr. Paul Farmer – Massachusetts

A medical anthropologist and physician, he is dedicated to improving health care for the world’s poorest people.

Laura Geller – New York

Founder of an eponymous beauty company, she is committed to making all women feel beautiful and worthy, regardless of their age.  

Tom Hanks – California

As Campaign Chair of the Hidden Heroes Campaign of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, he advocates for supporting military and veteran caregivers more effectively.

Rich Harwood – Maryland

As President and founder of the Harwood Institute, he is dedicated to imparting hope and bringing communities together for positive change. 

Kerry Kennedy – District of Columbia

As President of the nonprofit Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, she promotes human rights around the world.  

Winona LaDuke – Minnesota 

Executive Director of Honor the Earth, she is known for her activism on climate change, renewable energy, and environmental justice.

Reverend Violet Little – Pennsylvania

As founder of The Welcome Church, she provides a community of hospitality and hope for people experiencing homelessness.

Cindy McCain – Arizona

A humanitarian and diplomat, she is dedicated to improving the lives of those less fortunate in the United States and around the world.

Don Reed – Maryland

In his multiple roles with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Montgomery County affiliate, he helps build peer communities that support, educate, and advocate for persons living with mental illness and their families.

Bryan Stevenson – Alabama

As founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, he fights to eliminate excessive and unfair sentencing and exonerate innocent death row prisoners.

Ellen Weber – Pennsylvania 

As Executive Director of Robin Hood Ventures and the Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures, she is the face and force behind Philadelphia’s robust start-up ecosystem.

Elizabeth White – District of Columbia

Author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” she is an age solutions advocate dedicated to helping older adults who face uncertain work and financial insecurity.

Cynthia Williams – Illinois

As the founder and President of Austin Peoples Action Center on Chicago’s West Side, she helps people gain access to housing and other social services to improve their lives.

Dr. Imani Woody – District of Columbia

The founder of Mary’s House for Older Adults in DC, she works to provide safe and affordable housing for LGBTQ seniors.  

Honorees in their 70s

Judi Aubel – Indiana

Through her organization, the Grandmother Project – Change through Culture, she has dedicated herself to improving the lives of thousands of women and children in the poorest communities of Senegal.

Joyce Beatty – Ohio

As Representative for Ohio’s 3rd district, she has launched a revitalization of Columbus’ Near East Side, enabled funding for low-income students, and spearheaded a campaign to transform Columbus’ transportation service.

Guleford Bobo – District of Columbia

As Chairperson of Washington, DC’s Commission on Aging, he works to make Washington, DC a more age-friendly place for older people.

Cher – California

Following the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, she co-founded CherCares Pandemic Resource and Response Fund to help underserved communities struggling with poverty and other adversities.  

Kay Chernush – District of Columbia

The founder of ArtWorks for Freedom, she has dedicated herself to building awareness about human trafficking and modern-day slavery using art exhibits, performances, and films.

Ysabel Duron – California

An award-winning Latina journalist and cancer survivor, she is one of the nation’s leading authorities in Latino/Hispanic cancer education and advocacy.

Carol Fennelly – District of Columbia

Founder and Executive Director of Hope House DC, she works to keep dads in prison in regular contact with their children and decrease recidivism.

Danny Glover – California

A UNICEF Ambassador, he advocates for economic justice and access to health care and education programs.

Patricia Hall – Minnesota

Co-founder of H2O for Life, her organization educates and inspires youth to take action to solve the global water crisis.

Jonathan Hollander – New York 

A trailblazer in dance, he continues to break boundaries and launch initiatives seeking to increase human understanding through dance.

Jeanne Kelly – Maryland

As Founder of Encore Creativity for Older Adults, she helps older people realize artistic, mental, physical, and social benefits from choral participation.

Edith Lee-Payne – Michigan

An activist for quality education, equal housing, public safety, and voting rights, she also advocates as a donor mom for organ and tissue donation in communities where donations are most needed.

Dr. Maria Maccecchini – Pennsylvania

A biotech researcher and founder of Annovis, she is working to develop a drug for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Diana Nyad – New York

After swimming from Havana to Key West at age 65, she is inspiring others through her organization, EverWalk, aimed at getting more than 1 million Americans walking to improve their health.

Dolly Parton – Tennessee

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she donated $1 million to vaccine research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and encouraged those who can afford it to make similar donations.

Sandra Radoff – New York 

As co-founder of Students for Justice, she educates college students about the electoral process and mobilizes them to engage in voter outreach to increase voter turnout.

Tony Sarmiento – Maryland

Following a career in the labor movement and advocacy for low-income older adults, he currently serves on the board of the Charles Koiner Conservancy for Urban Farming and chairs the AFL-CIO Retirees Association.

Dr. Sylvia Shurbutt – West Virginia

Founder of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities at Shepherd University, she creates writing and teaching programs that bring West Virginia’s rich cultural history and story to students across the state.

Alice Waters – California

A chef, restauranteur, and author, she has been at the forefront of the sustainable agriculture movement for over four decades.

Honorees in their 80s

Jean Beasley – North Carolina

After the passing of her daughter, she took over her project to protect the sea turtles, their nests, and the emerging hatchlings on Topsail Island off the coast of North Carolina.

Velma Daniels – Florida 

The author of fifteen books, she writes about people whose lives are inspired by acts of faith, hope, and love.

Sylvia Earle – California

A marine biologist, oceanographer, and author, she is helping restore the ocean through her global coalition to protect marine areas, Mission Blue.

Dr. Anthony Fauci – Maryland

Our nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, he is America’s guiding light in navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jane Fonda – New York

A climate change activist, she presses for government action to protect our environment.

Joan Holmes – New York

As founding President of The Hunger Project, she is dedicated to transforming the world’s belief that hunger is inevitable to a new truth – hunger can now end.

Lilly Ledbetter – Alabama

An activist in employment discrimination, Ledbetter has spent her life advocating for equal pay for women.

Imelda Maurer – Missouri

As a gerontologist and Catholic Sister, she advocates for a philosophy and environment of HOME for older Sisters, regardless of the physical setting, that honors aging and that facilitates their living an engaged life to the highest degree possible.

Clarence “Buddy” Moore – District of Columbia

As a member of Mayor Bowser’s Multimodal Accessibility Advisory Council and Outreach Coordinator for Ward One Senior Wellness Center, Buddy helps older people and persons with disabilities in DC thrive.

Nancy Pelosi – California

As 52nd Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi made history when she was elected the first woman to the position. 

Katie Snuggs – North Carolina

An activist during the Civil Rights Movement, she now serves as Asheboro, North Carolina’s first-ever elected Black City Councilwoman.

Dr. Madonna Thunder Hawk – South Dakota

A civil rights activist, she is a leader in the American Indian Movement (AIM), a co-founder of Women of All Red Nations, and the organizer and tribal liaison of the Lakota Law Project.

Maxine Waters – California

Over her thirty years in Congress, she has pushed for action on environmental justice, poverty, racial inequity, and human rights.

Frances Zainoeddin – New York

In her roles with the International Federation on Aging, Soroptimist International, and Gray Panthers NYC, she advocates for the rights of older people and for women and girls.

Honorees in their 90s

Warren Buffett – Nebraska

Co-founder of The Giving Pledge, he has given away $41 billion thus far to issues like combatting poverty, fighting homelessness, and advancing human rights.

Jimmy Carter – Georgia

Through his work with the Carter Center and Habitat for Humanity, he continues to fight for peace and build hope.

Fred D. Gray – Alabama

A renowned civil rights attorney, preacher, and activist, he has represented clients like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.

Dolores Huerta – New Mexico

As founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she works to develop leaders and advocate for the working poor, women, and children.

Opal Lee – Texas

Known as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” she has walked each year from her home in Texas to Washington, DC to advocate for national recognition of Juneteenth.

Oren Lyons – New York

As a Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation, he advocates for the welfare of future generations through his dedication to environmental protection and the rights of Indigenous people.  

Vito Perillo – New Jersey

As the recently re-elected mayor of Tinton Falls, NJ, he has worked to improve infrastructure and equipment, pave roads and sidewalks, and expand parkland in his community.

Reverend Arthur Simon – New York

Founder of Bread for the World and author, he is devoted to ending hunger in the United States and around the world.

L.C. “Buckshot” Smith – Arkansas

Arkansas’s oldest police officer, his mantra is that police officers need to respect people, which is why he has “taken more people home than…to jail” in his many years as an officer.

George Soros – New York

As the philanthropist behind Open Society Foundations, he supports independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights.

Shatzi Weisberger – New York

Known as the “The People’s Bubbie,” she is a former nurse and death educator who fights for racial equity, gender equality, and more.

For more information on submitting a nomination for our next 60 Over 60, please contact Paige Duskie, HelpAge USA’s Communications Manager, at pduskie@helpageusa.org. For press or media inquiries, please contact Carla Brown Lucas at CBLucas@BrownLucas.com.

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